Everyone seems to extoll the virtues of "slow travel." “Slow down, get to know the
culture, take your time" is wonderful (although sometimes condescending) advice
that travel writers and, yes, even travel professionals give to clients. We sometimes
benefit from spending more time in one place and having the flexibility
that others may not. But, to us, "slow travel" isn't about moving at a snail's pace or
spending weeks in one destination. It is simply avoiding the urge to cram in as much
as possible into a short period of time...and eliminating the possibility for one of
those happy "accidents" of travel.
We wish we had a dollar for every client who wants to "do" Venice, Rome, Florence and
Tuscany in a 7-day Italian vacation. Or all four major Hawaiian Islands in 8 or 9 days.
Or join one of the "If it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium" whirlwind escorted tours of
Europe...8 countries in 14 days! We understand why people feel like they have to
squeeze so much into a visit, but let's really think about this:
Every time you move locations, you have to get up, pack, grab breakfast,
transfer to the airport or train station. Head through security, wait for your flight
or train, fly or rail to the next destination, possibly fight immigration &
customs. Then wait for your luggage, transfer to the next hotel, check-in, find your
room, and throw your suitcase on the bed. All you really want to do at that
point is to take a nap! But you can't...you have to hurry out the door to see
everything that awaits in your new location...because you only have 2 days
Figure that each move also has a price tag attached for transfers, checked
luggage fees, the cost of your train ticket or flight, taxis, and expensive junk
food you pick up in the airport or train station. It can add up quickly.
Most importantly, you will burn out. You will be exhausted with no memories
of your vacation except for the photos on your iPhone. The faster you go, and
the more you do, the less you EXPERIENCE.
Slowing down and enjoying your surroundings also opens you up to the possibility
of experiencing one of those "happy accidents" of travel. Like the time you start
talking to a cafe owner and end up sharing a bottle of wine and laughing the
afternoon away. Or take a left turn off the hiking path because that mountain looks
like one that needs to be climbed. Or follow the sounds of some amazing music only
to find the rehearsal spot of an incredible family of jazz musicians whose father used
to play with Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong...and they invite you in to listen!
(That one really happened to an advisor and her family in Haleiwa, a town on the north shore of Oahu). THOSE are the memories you will always treasure!
So slow down! Spend less time in train stations and more time in the cafe getting to
know the local people. Duck into that book store that looks fascinating. Destinations
are more than checkmarks on a "bucket list." Instead of seeing things quickly...why
not experience them DEEPLY? This is just one of the many things we try to help you plan out. Time to experience the destination. Contact us when you’re ready to start planning your slowed down adventure.